Sporty's SP-400 Handheld NAV/COM Aviation Radio

Regular Price: $329.00

Special Price $279.00

Regular Price: $329.00

Special Price $279.00

Availability: In stock

Product ID: 7758A

Upgraded screen - better contrast and adjustable backlight for improved sunlight readability. 

The award-winning SP-400 is simply the most powerful portable radio you can buy—like having a complete standby radio stack in your flight bag. The all-in-one radio makes a reliable backup for emergency use, but it’s also perfect for listening to ATIS, getting clearances before engine start or just monitoring local traffic.

But a great radio is worthless if it’s hard to use. That’...

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Upgraded screen - better contrast and adjustable backlight for improved sunlight readability. 

The award-winning SP-400 is simply the most powerful portable radio you can buy—like having a complete standby radio stack in your flight bag. The all-in-one radio makes a reliable backup for emergency use, but it’s also perfect for listening to ATIS, getting clearances before engine start or just monitoring local traffic.

But a great radio is worthless if it’s hard to use. That’s why our staff of pilots, flight instructors and aircraft owners spent so much time making the SP-400 intuitive and easy to use. It has all the features you need, but none that you don’t. There are no confusing menus, no memory bands and no complicated squelch buttons—just turn it on and type in a frequency. After all, an emergency is no time to look for an instruction manual.

Includes alkaline battery pack, antenna, wrist strap and instruction manual. Measures 5 1/2”h x 2 1/4”w x 1 5/8”d. Five year warranty.

Why the SP-400 is the pilot-friendly radio:

  • Oversized, high-resolution screen—twice as large as most other radios
  • Enhanced screen backlight with adjustable contrast for better sunlight readability
  • Large, soft keypad is easy to use, even in turbulence
  • No menus or memory banks—just type in the frequency
  • One-handed operation for fast emergency access
  • Unmatched battery life, powered by easy-to-find AAs
  • Quick-change battery pack—switch in just 3 seconds!
  • Backlit screen and keypad
  • Dedicated squelch and volume knobs for precise adjustment

COM

Sp-400 NAV
  • Last frequency flip flop makes it easy to switch back and forth 
  • Visual memory recall shows five memory channels per screen (store 20 total) 
  • Receives on 8.33KHz frequencies but does not transmit on those frequencies

NAV

  • Full ILS display—the only portable radio with this feature! 
  • VOR with large CDI display and automatic bearing-to-station readout 

Weather

SP-400 Weather
  • NOAA weather radio receiver built in
  • Nationwide coverage with pre-programmed stations

Emergency

  • Dedicated 121.5 button for instant emergency communications
  • Sidetone—hear yourself talk when using a headset
 

Why we recommend AA batteries

You'll notice the SP-400 comes standard with a AA battery pack - not a rechargeable lithium-ion or NiMH pack. We believe this is the right answer for almost all pilots. While a rechargeable battery is great for a smartphone you use every day, it is less suitable for a backup radio that may languish in a flight bag for weeks at a time. In an emergency, you have to know your radio will turn on, and forgetting to charge your lithium battery is a common mistake. The standard SP-400 battery pack holds 8 AA batteries (two more than most other radios). That sounds minor, but it leads to a big improvement in battery life. We often get over 40 hours of use from an SP-400 battery pack, when most of the time is spent receiving and not transmitting. 

Of course we offer a rechargeable battery pack for the SP-400 if you so desire. This is a good option for pilots who fly more frequently or for FBO use. Whichever option you choose, we believe you'll get great performance and long battery life from Sporty's radio.

 

Aviation Consumer's "Gear of the Year!"

  • "...better than some panel-mounted gear."
  • "Sporty's SP-400 Shines. Its performance is clearly exceptional."
  • "You can easily pick this unit up and use all of its features without touching the manual."
  • "...it's a solid bargain."

Additional Resources

Click Here for Instruction Manual

Click here to view The Aviation Consumers "Portable VHF Radios: Sporty's SP-400 Shines" Article

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh News review

What's the range of portable aviation radios? We went flying to find out. Click here to read the article
Looking for quick reference videos on the SP-400's operations. Click here to see the series. 

Hal Shevers

Founder/Chairman—Sporty’s Pilot Shop

Since our very first product was an aviation radio, I’m partial to our SP-400 Hand-held NAV/COM. It’s an amazingly powerful radio, and one I never could have dreamed of in 1961.

Eric Carnahan

Ask a Pilot Expert—Customer Service

Have questions?

We can help!

Our expert pilots are available to answer your questions.

Ask our experts: AskAPilot@sportys.com

Reviews
4.1 / 5.0
267 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
128
81
30
19
9
Durability
4.0 / 5
Reliability
4.2 / 5
Performance
4.1 / 5
Ease Of Use
4.2 / 5
Value
4.0 / 5
Would You Recommend?
Yes (80)
No (19)
Durability
4 / 5
Reliability
4 / 5
Performance
4 / 5
Ease Of Use
3 / 5
Value
3 / 5
Would You Recommend?
Yes
SP-400
Performs as expected
July 12, 2020
Purchased
1 month ago
Durability
5 / 5
Reliability
5 / 5
Performance
5 / 5
Ease Of Use
5 / 5
Value
5 / 5
Would You Recommend?
Yes
Exactly what I was looking for
July 11, 2020
Purchased
1 month ago
Durability
5 / 5
Reliability
5 / 5
Performance
5 / 5
Ease Of Use
5 / 5
Value
5 / 5
Would You Recommend?
Yes
The best on the market!
So easy to use and my husband loves it!
June 6, 2020
Purchased
2 months ago
Durability
5 / 5
Reliability
5 / 5
Performance
5 / 5
Ease Of Use
5 / 5
Value
5 / 5
Would You Recommend?
Yes
Better than I hoped for.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the price was good for the features. I have been impressed with everything from the sturdy build to the ease of use. There are some more complicated features but they can be ignored for basic use. Just turn it on and you are ready to go. My only criticism is that there is one plastic piece, about 1/4 inch long, that is the sole means of locking the battery deck to the radio. If that tab breaks, you’re out of luck.
June 5, 2020
Purchased
2 months ago
Durability
5 / 5
Reliability
5 / 5
Performance
5 / 5
Ease Of Use
4 / 5
Value
5 / 5
Reasonable and works well.
June 1, 2020
Purchased
2 months ago
Would You Recommend?
Yes
Exactly what I expected. So far so good.
Works great as advertised.
Works great as advertised.
May 25, 2020
Purchased
2 months ago
Durability
4 / 5
Reliability
4 / 5
Performance
4 / 5
Ease Of Use
4 / 5
Value
5 / 5
Would You Recommend?
Yes
SP400 to replace the A300.
I bought the SP400 to replace the old Sporty's A300 navcom that I have. The A300 still works well and has lasted over 20 years, but I felt an upgrade was in order. I have not tried the ILS function in flight yet, but will test that when able to compare it to the installed aircraft avionics. I find the SP400 CDI and ILS to be very valuable as a backup for an IFR pilot.
May 24, 2020
Purchased
4 months ago
Durability
5 / 5
Reliability
3 / 5
Performance
4 / 5
Ease Of Use
5 / 5
Value
3 / 5
Would You Recommend?
No
Trouble communicating with Tower on the ground
The only real time I needed it I was not able to use it. I was able to communicate with ground control, but when I taxied to the end of the runway, I was too far from the tower to communicate. I had to taxi back to where I talked with ground control.
May 13, 2020
works great
May 13, 2020
Purchased
3 months ago
Durability
5 / 5
Reliability
5 / 5
Performance
5 / 5
Ease Of Use
5 / 5
Value
5 / 5
Would You Recommend?
Yes
The SP400 is excellent.....
.....in electronics design. Aviation communications wise this transceiver has clearly met my expectations. Thanks!!
April 29, 2020
Purchased
3 months ago
Question and Answer
Start typing your question and we'll check if it was already asked and answered. Learn More
Browse 55 questions Browse 55 questions and 88 answers
Is the 5 year warranty transferable? SP-400
A shopper on Sep 1, 2016
BEST ANSWER: My Aeronca Chief has no radio or electrical system. Can this handheld be connected to a Sigtronics 2 place portable intercom? If so, what connector is required from the handheld to the intercom? Do you have them in stock as well as Sigtronics intercom extension cables to other side of cockpit so wiring can be semi permanently installed behind panel.
can it be hooked up to the airplanes antenna?
A shopper on Aug 11, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes, as long as the antenna lead has a female BNC type fitting, or a suitable adapter. I made a lead with BNC connectors at both ends and a suction cup mount that allows me to remotely mount the Rubber Duccky type antenna that comes with the unit just under the top of my canopy. This improved performance without adding any exterior drag.
Is there a way to make it transmit on 8.33 spacing, even if at a cost to modify? That is what questions about using in Europe etc mean. Europe and the UK are changing to 8.33 spacing and this radio will soon have no use there unless it can be adapted to transmit on 8.33. Thanks ps Very annoying for us, but we have no choice.
mikeSutherland s on Jan 11, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Unfortunately the FCC (the US government organization that regulates radios) does not allow us to make this radio transmit on 8.33 Khz - only 25 Khz. We will consider making a special model only for Europe.
Does a new certified remote pilot need a license to use the SP-400 handheld transceiver? Beginning last Monday, some remote pilots would appreciate the use of a transceiver for the same short correct comms with ATC when inside or under controlled airspace just to advise ATC of their ID and location before and after takeoff, which is required in the authorization (usually) given days before. The alternative is to use the mobile phone, but that adds to the tower workload. This is being discussed in formums now.
A shopper on Sep 4, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Per current FCC rules, an FAA-licensed airplane automatically receives a radiotelephone station license, and a licensed pilot receives a radiotelephone operator's license to operate the radios in the plane. Neither a UAS (as the station) nor a remote pilot (as the operator) would appear to benefit from these dispensations. If you Google "airplane radio license" you'll find this info at the FCC website.
8.33 compatible ?
Cédric C on Dec 12, 2016
BEST ANSWER: The 8.33 Spacing is listed as receive only in the technical specifications of the radio.
Can you hook up a handheld mic/speaker to the sp400?
GliderPilot on Jul 24, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Although I don't have that setup, I would think if your plugs and jacks are standard that it would probably work. I purchased the adapters from Sporty's which plug into the SP400 and then allow you to plug in your headset. You now transmit using the PTT button on the SP400 and headset mic. The side tone generated allows you to hear your transmissions. Received communications are through the headset of course.
How far is the range on this unit...Please?!
A shopper on Sep 3, 2016
BEST ANSWER: According to the product manual, the transmit power is 5 watts at 85% modulation. For comparison, the transmit power of the common Bendix-King KX125 panel nav-com is 5 watts minimum, 7 watts nominal. Thus, range is potentially similar to that of a panel nav-com. The limiting factor is primarily the antenna and the shielding of the airframe, and the latter is specific to your airplane -- my results don't count.
Is it ok to use longer life lithium AA batteries instead of alkaline batteries in this radio?
A shopper on Mar 2, 2018
BEST ANSWER: I use eight AA size 2800 mAh lithium rechargeable batteries in mine. Sixteen AA 2800 mAh lithium batteries and two 8 bay chargers cost me $28. A spare battery pack case cost another $26, a much better deal at $54 total than the $99 NiMh option. It gives 600 mAh more capacity than the optional 2200 mAh NiMh battery pack, without the high self discharge and memory issues that occur with NiMh batteries.
The printed catalog lists a '6-pin LEMO adapter.' Would I need to buy a LEMO adapter IN ADDITION to the regular 'radio-to-headset adapter', or can I substitute one for the other? IOW, can the LEMO adapter plug directly into the SP-400?
Bruce W on Nov 16, 2017
Sporty's SP-400 Handheld NAV/COM Aviation Radio
Sporty's SP-400 Handheld NAV/COM Aviation Radio
Headset Adapter (for all Sporty's Radios)
Headset Adapter (for all Sporty's Radios)
BEST ANSWER: The LEMO adapter will not plug directly into the SP-400. You would need to go from the LEMO to GA adapter then the GA to SP-400 adapter.
Some of the comments indicate that the 400 eats a lot of batteries. Two points: Can it be plugged in a lighter plug to operate it and/or to recharge rechargables AA's or the Ni-Mah battery pack while in use? Thanks
Charles B on Sep 6, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I leave my battery pack empty and have wired my power adapter directly to the avionics bus of my airplane. It has worked this way with all Sporty's radios, i.e., JD-200, SP-200, SP-400. It is one of the advantages of a 12 volt power supply. This may not be an advertised feature and the producer may frown on hardwiring the adapter cord into the avionic bus, but for the 13 years I have done it this way and the Sporty's radios have worked great.
What does it come with?
David S on Apr 30, 2017
BEST ANSWER: It comes with transceiver unit, strap, and antenna. There is separate order if you like all connectors or rechargeable Li ion battery pack.
what external antenna is recommended for this radio?
Gary B on Sep 22, 2019
I just tuned it to Cincinnati Approach from home, but can't hear anything; is this normal?
A shopper on Oct 13, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes this is normal most of the time unless you are at or very close to the airport. My SP 400 is the same and only picks up traffic close to me, but picks up fine and works quite well once airborne. If you get the SP400 in the air and see no change you should call sportys for an exchange.
Controllers including Clearance, Ground and Tower all say same thing, transmission is scratchy but understandable. Did I just get a bad radio as others have said they did? Or is there an adjustment to clean it up and make it useful?
Jeff G on Sep 16, 2018
BEST ANSWER: depending on the A/C (fabric or metal) , an outside antenna may do wonders. If you have another radio in yr A/C, then use a splitter in the antenna to feed your SP-400. I'm very happy with mine, EXCEPT that it draws current even switched off; so after a few weeks you will have dead batteries even if you did not use yr SP400.
my son is a pilot wants two way hand held radio in case his radio in airplane fails. is this what he needs?
A shopper on Dec 3, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes, this is a good choice. With the Sporty's Headset adapter (P/N 8635A - $26) he can plug directly into his headset
I'm considering this SP-400 and find the battery comments discouraging. Could it be the peak current drain during transmitting damaging the fragile Alkaline battery chemistry? Has anyone used Lithium primary (non-rechargeable) cells in this radio? If it kills batteries while NOT in-use, it would be a worthless device.
A shopper on Oct 5, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I bought this handheld and put in high dollar camera batteries ( I never trust rechargeables) I pull it out and listen to the atis every prior to every flight and now and then give it a transmit radio check with ground cont.
Works like it should... I read folks whining that they left it fallow for a long time and it was dead when they needed it.... If you are relying on a piece of hardware (that runs on batteries) best to check it....
"dig you well before your thirsty"
Will this mount work with on the SP400 with the metal belt clip installed?
Tyler C on Mar 11, 2020
Sporty's SP-400 Handheld NAV/COM Aviation Radio
Sporty's SP-400 Handheld NAV/COM Aviation Radio
SP-400 RAM Suction Cup Mount Kit
SP-400 RAM Suction Cup Mount Kit
Metal Belt Clip
Metal Belt Clip
BEST ANSWER: No, it will not. The belt clip is removed and the locking plate is installed.
Is this dual band, meaning can it do Nav & Com at the same time? If not how easy is it to switch back and forth between the two?
Kevin C on Jun 17, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Switching between the frequencies is quite easy, however. Simply tune the first frequency (i.e. COM) and then tune in the second (NAV in your case). Now you just use the Last Frequency button on the side to toggle between the two frequencies.
Will this radio power a ANR headset like a Bose A20?
Bruce W on Nov 16, 2017
BEST ANSWER: The Bose A20 get power for ANR from its own batteries, not from the radio, so there would be no issue. You will however need an adapter to go from the ports on the radio to a standard aviation headset. Sporty's carries that part as well.
May I use the sp400 in Europe/ Netherlands/Germany?
thijshe on Nov 25, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Why not? Whats matter , is that ' if you have a rádio qualification for air-air or air-atc' transmitions!
Will this radio work with a headset if I plug a Sigtronics Transcom 3 into it via the headset adapter 8635A?
Matt F on Jul 17, 2020
BEST ANSWER: Yes, it will.
Is the SP-400 RNAV capable?
A shopper on Jun 30, 2020
BEST ANSWER: It is not.
Does this radio have both VHF and UHF bands?
John B on Jun 30, 2020
BEST ANSWER: No, only VHF
Is there a power supply available that I can plug in to the house outlet to use the radio at home without draining batteries?
A shopper on May 11, 2020
BEST ANSWER: Yes, item 7343A.
Can you make this radio with the pj2 headphone jack and usbc !!!!!!? Make it and I will buy it.
A shopper on Apr 30, 2020
BEST ANSWER: I will pass that along to our product manager.
I want to connect the sp400 radio to 12v using an adaptor cable which i will make myself. what is the 12v power plug internal and external dimensions in millimeters? Spec please. Not interested in cigarette lighter solution. thanks.
A shopper on Apr 30, 2020
Sporty's SP-400 Handheld NAV/COM Aviation Radio
Sporty's SP-400 Handheld NAV/COM Aviation Radio
12V/24V Cigarette Lighter Power Adapter (for all Sporty's Radios)
12V/24V Cigarette Lighter Power Adapter (for all Sporty's Radios)
BEST ANSWER: I used the 12v cigarette and sporty charging cable supplied, and it works fine when I switch from portable to vehicle supplied power.
Does the ICOM A25 Headset adapter work with the SP-400? This would be very handy.
Sidney H on Jan 24, 2020
BEST ANSWER: No the SP-400 headset adapter is specific for this radio.
When will the SP-400 have the built-in headphone jacks? Is that in the works?
Jimmie M on Jan 12, 2020
BEST ANSWER: It currently is not. I will pass your recommendation on to our developers.
What's the country of manufacture?
A shopper on Dec 13, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Tiawan is the county of manufacture.
Does this radio have 2 place intercom in it? And will it accomdate 2 hwad sets and external antanae?
Johnny Y on Nov 13, 2019
BEST ANSWER: It does not have an intercom. It can use an external antenna. Not sure what you mean by 2 HWAD?
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